Benjamin Lea Arnold was born October 29, 1839 in Mecklenburg, Virginia. He received his B.S. from Randolph Macon College and taught in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. After serving in the Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee, Arnold taught at colleges in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Benjamin L. Arnold became the second president of the State Agricultural College in 1872 and served in that capacity until his death on January 30, 1892. During his twenty year career, he oversaw major funding and organizational changes to the college, growth of the institution to a dozen faculty members and more than 150 students, and the development of new academic departments including Military Science, Agriculture, and Household Economy and Hygiene.
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